Floods? Bengaluru better than New York, says Minister George, citizens see red
Incessant heavy rains have ravaged parts of Bengaluru but its development minister is convinced that the city is better than New York in handling floods. While Bengalureans are battling slush and waterlogging, K J George said that the inconvenience 'was very minor' and that only 'a small part of the city' was affected.
Heavy rains over the last four days inundated several houses and flooded low lying areas in the city. Politicians who refused to budge an inch after Monday night's mammoth rainfall, went on city rounds only starting Wednesday. Even as the citizenry struggled to recover from the heavy downpour, Bengaluru Development Minister K J George said that the city was better equipped than 'global cities like New York' to handle floods.
"Around 300 houses were inundated due to the heavy rainfall but this is just a small portion of the city. The city has more than 20 lakh houses and inconvenience has been caused to a small portion. The situation in such heavy rains in other cities like Delhi, New York, Patna would have been worse. Bengaluru, in comparison, is much better," said K J George when asked about the widespread damage that rains had caused.
He added that the city's storm-water drains had the capacity to handle only around 6 cm of rainfall whereas Monday night's rains were gauged to be Nearly 18 cm. "Because of heavy rains, some inconvenience had been caused to few people but we are working on bettering the drains. Out of 800 km of drains, work has been completed on 400 km. The rest will be done within two years," the minister added.
Residents are, however, seeing red over George's claims. "My house was flooded, my scooter is now lying in a garage and my children could not go to school on Tuesday. If this comes across as a 'small inconvenience' to the minister, I would like to know what he counts as a disaster? Does he want the entire city inundated?" asked Pavitra, a resident of Koramangala, one of the worse affected localities after Monday night's rains.
"It makes for a good laugh," is how Satyanarayana, a resident of Madivala chose to respond to George's statements. K J George has already come under severe criticism for his handling of the Bellandur and Yemlur lakes. Such statements have only made citizens, who suffered the wrath of apathy, angry.